Episode 51

#051 - How to Take Time Off

Published on: 24th August, 2021

Vacation days are one of the most finite resources we possess as non-retired humans. Most of us with "normal" 9-5 jobs tend to get between 10 and 25 days per year with little flexibility beyond that - regardless of salary. As our careers progress, income tends to rise, and business tends to increase along with it - leaving the potential for having more than enough money but struggling to find the time to recharge, regroup, and reconnect with the humans most important around us.

In this episode, we discuss how to think differently about vacations, effective strategies for taking vacations, and how overall health and wellbeing come into play.

Thanks for joining us today and don't forget to hit the subscribe button or reach out at [email protected].


Charles Knight 0:00

I have a plugged in at home. So now it's the main one that I'm using. So we'll see

Robert Greiner 0:10


Charles Knight 0:11

We will see what issues I have.

Robert Greiner 0:12

have. So Dell XPS I'm pretty sure used to be like a gaming gli, yeah, for now. And now they have the business class ones, which

Charles Knight 0:20

I think are really good. I like it so far. It looks smaller than the HP but it's just because there's less of a bezel around the screen when so I think it's a smaller form factor but the monitor is still the same same size or whatever.

Robert Greiner 0:35

Nice. Cool Congrats, man long.

Charles Knight 0:39

Yeah, man. A great thanks for pestering to get me to request it.

Robert Greiner 0:44

Well, you know how I feel about new hardware? Yeah,

Charles Knight 0:47

it's so worth it. It is I don't know why. dragged on. accepted the mediocrity of the other one.

Robert Greiner 0:55

Yeah, you just get used to it. Well, it's just the use it every day though. So it's like the seconds shaved off here and there really add up over the course of a year. Cool. Not sponsored, not sponsored. This is a Charles Knight. personal recommendation or

Charles Knight 1:10

personal recommendation? Yeah. Yeah. It's well worth it.

Robert Greiner 1:13

Dell XPS temperpedic Morton Salt. What else?

Charles Knight 1:18

Maybe that's it. That's all Yeah. Bad.

Robert Greiner 1:24

recommendation is practically guarantee. I think that's what he said. A recommendation for me is practically a guarantee. Yeah.

Charles Knight 1:31

So allergies have been bothering you. Hmm. Robert?

Robert Greiner 1:33

Yeah, I lost my voice a few days ago. So just now coming back. You said I sound different.

Charles Knight 1:38

No, you sound fine. No, I know. You told me that you lost it. I didn't know if there was any lingering effects at all. But you sound like you normally sound.

Robert Greiner 1:45

Okay, good. Yeah. I sound different in my head. Because I guess my my, like, My ears are kind of wonky.

Charles Knight 1:52

Yeah. What was that? Like? Did you deliberately refuse meetings and not talk to allow it to rest and recover? Or did you just power through it? or?

Robert Greiner 2:01

Yeah, just tried to power through? Yeah, they went mostly away, like on the weekend. And so back in the week, I, it was pretty normal. I just sounded funny.

Charles Knight 2:09

I think I've only lost my voice. Maybe once. And it got to the point where I really couldn't make any sounds.

Robert Greiner 2:20

Oh mine didn't get that bad.

Charles Knight 2:21

Yeah, yeah, I was definitely sick with something. I don't remember exactly what it was. But that was an interesting experience and not being able to communicate the way that we normally do.

Robert Greiner 2:30

Yeah. Yeah. Hey, so today, it's interesting, we just talked about you getting a new laptop, and sort of the incremental gains play out over time that a new laptop could provide, especially when you have one that's dated, may be similar for cars, I don't know if that's the case, because you have like traffic factors. Whatever bed you're sleeping on, there are things you can do in your life, it's almost a volumetrics deal, where you get a 30% improvement on something that plays out every day, it's kind of a big deal. If we apply that to vacation, because we've been talking about taking time off, Igor is on his way to Las Vegas to get married, which I think is pretty cool. We have this massive finite resource. And it almost doesn't matter what how much money you make, you have pretty much the same pool of finite resources in a year, which is your vacation days, money to a degree. So that's something to keep track of, but like vacation days are relatively fixed, like somewhere between two and six weeks a year. And you really need that time to rebalance your health and well being. And if you do it wrong, it's going to set you up on maybe a vicious cycle, it certainly will has the risk of creating a not an unsustainable path forward if you don't make the most out of your vacations. So that maybe we talk about that a little bit today.

Charles Knight 3:52

Yeah, I think that'll be fun. I like it.

Robert Greiner 3:54

We talked about this before. You took three weeks off relatively recently. And there was one week at a time and there was a specific focus for each week. So can you recap that for me? Because I think I'm think I'm missing one in my head.

Charles Knight 4:09

Yeah, that's right. It was three weeks, over the span of five weeks or so. So a week of vacation or time off a week of work a week of time off a week of work, so on and so forth. And the first one was a trip with the kids. And this one, I went to SeaWorld and then the second one was a trip to see family with my brother and his family in Little Rock. And then the third was adults only away from kids. So yeah, it was very different. It was like a kid's adventure sort of thing. Then it was family, and then it was away from kids recharge,

Robert Greiner 4:49

so you weren't trying to make one vacation both relaxing and adventurous. So you're to unwind and go have a new experience. You had a very specific goal for each one.

Charles Knight 5:00

Yeah, in the very specific definition of vacation, where that's like a me oriented thing. And so if there are kids or family involved, then I don't define it as vacation. I'll call it a family trip or something like that. So yeah, three very different purposes, spread out over time, which made it a lot more just a lot easier, a lot more relaxed, doing all of those things, and therefore a lot more enjoyable.

Robert Greiner 5:26

Very nice. Okay, that makes sense. So, what is the category of your vacation?

Charles Knight 5:31

Was that a rhetorical question? Or is that for me?

Robert Greiner 5:33

I'm sorry, I'm just trying to wrangle the kids here. Yeah. So you you have a very specific focus for the vacation wasn't intentional and take them so close together? Is that just how it worked out for the year? Because it's summertime and things like that?

Charles Knight 5:45

Yeah, it was not intentional. It was more forced just based off of schedule on availabilities. I think it worked out pretty well, in terms of me and being able to be present there. It did put strain on me and the system at work being out for even though I was back for a week in between, sometimes, probably to others that felt like I was out for five weeks total. Because if they didn't need me until I was out, then, you know, I was seemingly inaccessible for a really long time, even though technically I wasn't. Does that make sense?

Robert Greiner 6:17

Yeah, I was gonna ask how the one week on one week back worked. You said you were able to come in and get some stuff done and have meetings and you took some calls while you're on vacation?

Charles Knight 6:26


Robert Greiner 6:26

Which normally we don't advocate for. But if you're going on such a long span, I think in this case, it probably made sense. But you're saying it's still it was a little bit more difficult to manage? Because they were too close together. And am I reading this right that you would have preferred or you think would have been more effective for you if they were a little bit farther spaced apart?

Charles Knight 6:44

Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Because that I think, by the end of it, right, by the third trip, when I came back, I definitely had things that I needed to dive deep into that I could have probably avoided if I wasn't out for a session extended period of time. lessons learned. Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, I think when you were saying, hey, you've got a category for your vacation or time off, it's like I had a very clear purpose. My guess is how I would say it for each one. Man, I was intentional and kind of trying to think about what sort of different purposes whether that's spending time with my family or doing something new with the kids or just personal downtime recharging, and, and trying to divvy up my, my scarce paid time off across a few different buckets like that. I think, okay, actually my strategy. Yeah.

Robert Greiner 7:35

And did you feel one? Did you feel like you that singular focus? Were you able to accomplish what you were looking out to do a trip to see family trip with the kids?

Charles Knight 7:44

I think so. Yeah. Like the first trip with the kids had to stop to visit my parents. So there was a little bit of a blend of adventure with the kids plus family time. But that was just that was a secondary, objective a bonus, it wasn't the focus. And it did make it easier to think about well, scheduling and duration and stuff like that, because I did have those clear purposes in mind.

Robert Greiner 8:08

tablished article. It's since:

Charles Knight 9:08

I don't know if I've taken enough vacations that are that long in duration to know there's definitely a period does it say what the average duration is? Like it may peak on eight but is that like a 10 day vacation? Is that a 14 day vacation? I wonder? because to me it there's more of a more than halfway through a trip. And you know, less than three quarters of the way through is probably when I peek because I've been able to let go of whatever I had going on before and it's not close enough to the finish to where I'm starting to anticipate what the return back home and to work look like, if that makes sense. So yeah, and the half to 50% to 75% mark for me is where subjectively I would guess I peak.

Robert Greiner:

Irrespective of length, because you feel like you're like in it now. That makes sense,

Charles Knight:

because even on the long week is okay, yeah, the first day, you're probably wrapping up things still trying to prepare for the trip. And then you've got one solid day, and then the last day Sunday or something like that, you've got to get prepped and ready to go. So there's just, there's exit and re entry, just activities that I think just need time to process before you can really engage. Although, man, I'll tell you, I think that's, I think that can be drastically accelerated. Right, that exit and re entry. Yeah, a lot of it is just some of the things that I think we started to talk about before in prior episodes around. How do you prepare others to support you while you're out? How do you disconnect whether that's turning off your notifications, or uninstalling apps? Or I think all those sorts of things can help accelerate, disconnect. And because I think it's all about really our attention. If we get distracted and pulled back into work, then yeah, it's gonna take longer for us to get the benefits of disconnecting.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, you get hurt both ways where you're not present, and around, and you're not really at full of work effectiveness, either. Yeah, I do agree with you. You said earlier that a long weekend can really work wonders. I agree with that, too, especially if you're coming off of a really heavy lift, sometimes just taking that extra Friday, or even a Monday. So you're in Friday, you do your wrap up stuff when everybody's wrapping up for the week anyway. And then just off Monday, that can that can have a huge impact.

Charles Knight:

I remember, we actually I don't know if somebody gave me this advice, or maybe I just heard it someplace. But there's great benefit to the system, like you, whether that's your project team or the organization that you work for. If you go on vacation, and as you were a teeing up this topic, I was thinking there's actually a really good benefit psychologically to the individual. That may not be intuitive, and wanted to share it with you. Because obviously, it's Yeah, you can rest and relax. But part of what I am reminded whenever I take off time, is that I'm not all that super critical to most things that I'm involved in at work. And it's humbling in a way, because I think when we're in it for so long, and we haven't had a chance to disconnect and ask the system to support us, you know, in our personal well being that we think that we're like, so critical that we can't leave. Have you ever felt that? Do you work with people on your teams that think go I can't take vacation until the end because this is too I'm too critical to this?

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, I remember a couple of kind of poignant stories on that one was, so I was at a client that was around 60 miles away, I had this meeting that came up when I was on day off. And it was one of those Oh, this thing is super important. Like I need to be there. And so I left started driving, I was about an hour drive part of the way through, I got pulled over and got a ticket because I was speeding and I was in a rush or whatever. Yeah. And I was like super late. And it was like non eventful. And when my kids were born, especially my son, my youngest, I took Gosh, eight, nine weeks off. And I thought that this was one of those things that would Yeah, it was stuff would catch on fire and go poorly or whatever. And you get back and you just realize the world went on just fine without you. And that's totally true. If you look at any other organization, sports teams are a good example. They lose their star player, things are fine. Next person up. And your organization likely went along just fine without you before you got there. And we'll get along just fine after you're gone. And that's just the way life goes, you can have a huge impact while you're there, it doesn't mean you're not doing important work. Yeah. But this self imposed importance, I think can get in the way of because you feel a level of responsibility can get in the way of you choosing to disconnect, which ultimately helps you in the long run and the people that work for you.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I'd like to emphasize that last point, because there's obvious benefits to the individual. If you're able to step away and recharge, come back with a clear head and heart. But there's lots of benefits to the team around you too. Because they they have to step up, they have to figure out how can they take on additional responsibilities while you're out on top of what they already have, which allows them to figure out how can they delegate to people on their teams. And that talk about a virtuous cycle, right? If you're really interested in growing and developing the people around you, taking time off not only sets a good example, around what does it look like to take care of yourself, but it also creates opportunities for people to level up and to step up where they can and where they're interested in where the team needs them. And yeah, I just think because sometimes we feel so self important. That we we rob, our teams of that opportunity.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah. And a lot of times it's well, meaning he just won't want to bail on people. Yeah. It's funny that you mentioned this early in my career. I mean, even to this day, I'm starving for opportunities for someone to step aside a little bit so I can take on what's next and demonstrate readiness for the next level. Organizations are filled with people like that, who would love to take part of your job over for a finite period of time while you're gone? So that they can get an experience and demonstrate something that maybe they would have an opportunity to. And there's dozens and dozens of times where we were wanting that, and craving that everybody else wants it to? I think,

Charles Knight:

yeah, and it doesn't always go well, like you're talking about the birth of your son, the birth of my first daughter, she came a few weeks early. And so the team wasn't prepared for me to leave. And I left, I left on leave. Because she was coming. We're headed to the hospital, the day that they were trying to go live, like a production go live. And it did not go well. It's one of those situations where we try to do everything, I didn't prepare people soon enough for the off chance. And it turns out to be very real chance that babies come early. But you know what? It was still okay. The team had a tough time, the client was a little bit miffed, but they understood the situation. And to the team learned and grew from that. And you know what, we got a funny story out of it, right? Because they were trying to deploy a dotnet application. And none of the people except for me, really knew the innards of, you know, dotnet web applications deployed on web servers, IIS and all that sort of stuff. And that was something that we joke about for years. Yeah. So even when it goes poorly, the whole world doesn't come crashing down. crumbling around. That's more of a reminder for myself than anybody listening. But it is funny how we, our identities get tied up into our contributions. You're not work. Yeah.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, most definitely.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, it's just a, it's a dangerous thing to. So I'm grateful for the time off that we get, and that I choose to take. And I constantly tell people encourage people about the goodness and doing that. And, and I'm just hopeful that other people take advantage of that, when they have it.

Robert Greiner:

For me, personally, my vacation Achilles heel is definitely the first few days, I cannot flip a switch, I can usually come back and flip a switch, right? Like I don't need a lot of time to ease back in. And I do think you're right, a lot of the preparation before you go can help with how long it takes to get caught up. And there is sort of a What do you want to call it organizational appetite for people who are coming back from vacation to spend Monday and Tuesday getting caught up on things. And so you have some flexibility when you get back typically. But going into vacation is another story and and I definitely need two to three days. And maybe two is too little for me, like I need three to four days to settle into a new vacation. So if we're going on a family trip for a week, I may take the week before off as well, or a few days, that week to kind of intellectually say to myself like It's okay. I'm like, quote unquote, off, I don't mind taking a couple calls on Am I being available? Definitely not trying to work a full day, tagging the whole day as PTO. And then by the time the trip rolls around, I've eased into vacation mode already. So I'm like starting the actual vacation in vacation mode. And that's been huge for me.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I was gonna ask what is it? Like, if you don't do that? Are you constantly thinking if I don't do that? Yeah, yeah,

Robert Greiner:

yeah, it's hit or miss. But what really happens is you spend the first few days in that mode anyway, but you're in this one foot in one foot out, and you just miss stuff, you know, like trying to check email at the airport or that evening, you're just kind of catching up on what happened during the day or triaging slack. And it's it's not at all even close to like a full day's work. But it's invasive enough that it really has an impact on me. And I kind of can feel myself like not being present. And so whenever I can, I would rather shorten a vacation, to be honest, then spend the first couple of days I disconnected. And I haven't really, this is a relatively new realization for me. So I haven't really honed in on the optimal time and things I can do to make it better. So right now just take a couple of extra days off, and that works out well. But certainly those bookends are important to manage and it's good for you to know like how you enter into and exit from, like you mentioned earlier, vacation and what are some things you can do to make that more effective so that when you're actually out, you can be out.

Charles Knight:

This is what you're describing as a very, I think common phenomenon for myself and probably most professionals, most people in general This goes right back to the conversations that we've had around. What did you call it like infinite scrolling apps or?

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, infinity pool apps?

Charles Knight:

Yeah, it's all about our attention, is what I hear you describe. And what I experienced is like our attention gets pulled from the present moment, when we are out of our normal day to day mode, which is in a professional setting, or during the day, because we work a nine to five, when we take ourselves out of that, and try to put it into a vague quote unquote, vacation mode, we're asking our brains to focus on something different. And that's really hard for it to do. Because the brain and the mind, it really is good at doing what it has done before. And it takes effort to do things that are different, right? The whole, what does that phrase, neurons that fire together? wire together?

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, yeah, you're like physiologically changing? Yeah. and adapting to do something that you've done before and continue to do.

Charles Knight:

Yeah. So it's hard. I guess, for people that are listening, that can really myself included, it's hard to do that to disconnect. And I don't hear you beating yourself up about it, because you're actively in a healthy way trying to explore what's the right way to allow me to get the benefits of vacation without by either experimenting with duration. And like you said before, removing applications that you can't even physically check without some high degree of friction, email on slack and stuff like that. I think that's all great. It really does boil back to our attention is getting taken away from what we want to focus on my which is on rest, relaxation, family, being in the present moment. And that's where the practice of meditation has been a big help in my life, I think, Mr. Help help train the attention, because I've seen some people post internally, at our company that, hey, when you're on vacation, and people notice others, like around them, like glued to their phone, they're they're trying to take a picture of something as opposed to maybe appreciating, like the sunset or something like that. Or they're on their phone instead of paying attention to their kids. And they say that those are all inherently it just seems like they think that those are inherently bad things. But there is in fact, a way to mindfully scroll Facebook, there's a way to mindfully take a picture. And I don't know, there's probably a deeper discussion to be had there. But there's a lot of things that people think are just bad, that in fact, they're only bad because it's taking attention away from something that we want to pay attention to. And there's a nuance there that makes sense to you at all, or how do you.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, I think I get what you're saying where there's a way to configure and or consume those things where it's not, it has mitigates or minimizes or negates the negative impact.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, yeah.

Robert Greiner:

It's such a hard thing to come to achieve. I think that it's a little risky.

Charles Knight:

But it is I mean, I just got rid of them all. Because Hey, I'm not strong enough to be able to, yeah, same way, check my email, five minutes a day, or something like that, that that could be something to experiment with. But it is possible, my guess is. So that's why I love the experimental approach, which is define what's optimal for you.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah. And think about it. Hopefully, what this does is this puts on your there's a right and a wrong way to take vacations for you and your family. And your that and balancing that with your work responsibilities. Yep. And it's different than mine. And that's totally cool. The hard part is when you spend decades with one of the most finite resources you'll ever have, again, which is your vacation days. How do you make that keep an eye on how things are going make it optimal for you. And hopefully, this kind of just puts that trigger in your head if you're listening to think about how it's going, how it can be better for you, so that you can maximize these finite resources.

Charles Knight:

Yeah. When I think that there's a lot of value and goodness in taking this moment, if you're interested to talk about it with other people, whether that's your family, or your co workers. It's not something that you have to solve yourself. It's better if you'd solved in collaboration with the people that are impacted by you taking or not taking your time off and optimizing for that. And so it simply starts with just asking about prior with loved ones, hey, what do we want to prioritize with our time off? And this is what I need to be able to do that and can we can we make that happen or not? And same thing with your team say this is what I need. But is this something that can be done now in this time period with these people or not and find a way to make it work? 99 times out of 100 there is I don't think I've ever rejected a request for time off. Robert, have you ever done that before? But no,

Robert Greiner:

No, even when people shoot one off really late last minute, I may talk to him about it and say, Hey, the rule of thumb should be the longer your vacation, the longer you plan on being out, the more you should have a sort of advance warning you might want to give, but no, I've never. I've never declined one. And it's interesting what we have, we have some fairly important meetings going on this week. I just found out and I think this person told me I'm almost positive they did. But I just forgot that they were out Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, of this week, and I just went to someone else on the team and said, Hey, I need your help here. Can you can you make this meeting? And it's fine. It's again, it's another opportunity thing. And so you don't think trying to get an in between someone and taking time off? Because we're so bad at it anyway, is just it's not helpful. And I can't think of a good reason, in our line of work, why you would want to do that.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I got another question for you was related to time off. I've been asked the question by a few different peoples, hey, how do you spend your time off? There's, there seems to be a couple of different personas, if you will. It's like the Hey, do you try to cram in as much as you can in the time that you have? And so you're always on the go and moving? Or do you like to just sit and explore? And yeah, blase about sort of thing.

Robert Greiner:

So for me personally, I would rather do less than more.

Charles Knight:


Robert Greiner:

so I would be fine. Actually, with a staycation. Just being home disconnecting, reading, hanging out the family, whatever, I definitely have a bias or preference at this point in my life to essentially experience my kids experiencing things if that makes sense. The first time my son met Mickey Mouse, for instance. Yeah, he was like two and a half, I think. And he's like instant that instant recognition and had never seen like a character that large. And it was really cool to watch him go up and get a hug and those kinds of things. And we waited 30 minutes to go meet Mickey and Minnie at Disney World. And I'm not certain that experience would have really done anything. For me personally, even if, even if it was like, yeah, we're just here for the kids. But going into it saying I want to experience my son and my daughter experiencing this thing, like my moment is have watching them have their moment was kind of an interesting way to think about it. And so I would try to optimize that kind of stuff, like making memories together. And then intentionally over time, like revisiting those memories. Do you remember that time that we wrote that dinosaur ride? And you got really scared, and you get to relive the moment. So those are right now I think what's key for me coming up, though, I definitely want some alone time, just me and the wife go going on a trip to Napa Valley or Fredericksburg or something like that, where we can just kind of get away for a few days. Yeah. But yeah, right now, I think. I'm not sure if that answered your question. But that's how I'm, I'm doing what I would prefer to do.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, yeah, I'm not a fan of rushing and hurrying, right and trying to view my time off as, like a game. I was like, how many stops? Can we hit? How many attractions can we hit, it's very much have kind of a tentative plan. Maybe one big thing to do a day. And, and then time to adapt and pursue other things that come up. A very

Robert Greiner:

tricky one, I might go so far to say that if you're hurrying, it's not going to work out for you, you're going to feel disappointed, regardless of how you're wired.

Charles Knight:


Robert Greiner:

Like the idea of rushing and I'm predisposed to do this, I'll be right in the middle of a book that I love, or a TV series that I love. And I'm like, there's a part of me that's pushing to get get it complete. Which is silly, because you only get to experience these things like once for the first time once and you very rarely go and experience it again. So yeah, it's a silly thing that I tend to do. And I'm predisposed to hurry for sure. And that is that like, a joy killer, for sure. And so it's really nice. And I think we've talked about this last time, but when we drove to Galveston, and it was the weather was bad because a hurricane and things like that. And I just told my wife and kids, hey, we're not in a rush here. We're not going to get in the caravan. From all the cars for the family going down. We're just going to take our time. We'll stop if we need to. I'm going to set the cruise control at the speed limit are slightly above it, and we'll get there when we get there. And it was great. Yeah, it was great. And you see all these other people just hurrying and rushing and like driving erratically and and put into perspective like Oh, man, this is this was the right call. And so I think being not just avoiding Hurry, but almost being anti hurry. Yeah, on vacation is definitely the way to go.

Charles Knight:

There's a I know that we have talked about in the past, maybe doing some sort of series around stoicism. There's a newsletter that I subscribe to, and they it's about parenting actually through stoic philosophy. And they have this notion of it is it's in response. To like a lot of their conversation narrative around quality time, okay to make sure you've got good quality time. And a lot of people interpret that as these peak experiences. And meeting Mickey is probably one of those things. So there, there are some people out there who chase these peak experiences, and they ignore all of the what this person calls junk times the time in the car, on this boring road trip to get to Galveston as like some people view that as just throw away time, there's no way that you can get enjoyment and pleasure and have that be a bonding moment with the kids and the family. Man, they really encourage people to say, like, all time is quality time, but you got to opt into it, right. And so you have to have that mentality of, yeah, we're just going to take your time we'll get there when we get there, and then makes all the difference in the world. So that's really

Robert Greiner:

most things in life are moved forward by improved by small, tiny steps in the right direction. Very rarely Is there like a quantum jump. And whether it's time with family, building relationships, whatever, yeah, those 1000 little things that go well, you know, where when you're driving, you're not pissed off, and you're not trying to rush to get there, and you're not yelling at the kids to be quiet, and all those things, but you're just being there and hanging out together. And it creates a positive experience. Now, it might only it might only move your relationship forward as centimeter, no one may remember it a year from now. But those things like really add up, like humans are wired that way.

Charles Knight:


Robert Greiner:

And so I think that's right, just trying to make the experience positive. That doesn't have to be a something that you're going to remember what did you call it? I like the term that you use, but it just jumped out of my head.

Charles Knight:

You mean like junk time or something like that performance?

Robert Greiner:

formative experience? Or

Charles Knight:

Oh, peak experience,

Robert Greiner:

peak experience? Yeah, yeah, people are chasing the peaks. And there's so much more to be gained over time and in the non peak moments.

Charles Knight:

And I think what I've struggled with around this not rushing, not hurrying, whether that's on a road trip, or whatever, it's really, I think, for me about expectations. And I wonder if that's the way for others to who feel like they have to hurry through and see all of the tourist attractions and Rome or something like that? I don't know. Yeah, it just makes me wonder. It's like what expectations do they have? Right of going into this trip, and you know, what it's like, how much of those expectations are set by them, or by others, like what others expect people to do in Galveston versus and how they get there versus what you all want to do as the Greiner family. And so it's, yeah, it's expectations. It's hard, though. It's especially hard if you're burnt. If you're burnt out at work, and you're trying to take time off, and you're having to do all those things at the same time. It's like that is where you get into that vicious cycle. So having this on a regular, that's why I tell people is just put something on your calendar recurring, time off. And so that way when you see it, so yeah, I need to take some time off, and then you can plan for it. Otherwise, you just, you'll just never think about it. I fall into that trap quite a bit. If it weren't for other people in my life. I'm not sure I would take time off. But I'm just not. I just it's just not top of mind.

Robert Greiner:

You, you would absolutely not take time off. You just wouldn't. Yeah, I totally don't value judgment. I just I get where you're coming from. You just get settled in and focused and you look up and two years have gone by Yeah. Hey, so one more idea. We've talked about a lot that I want to recap, because I think there's something in here for everybody. Thinking about this and talking about it with y'all has also informed my leadership style in the trillion dollar coach, which I think we're going to deep dive into, like kind of as a series. Bill Campbell is like such an amazing leadership coach, I think if you are unknown, yeah, yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. High School football coach who knew he's like best kept secret in Silicon Valley. But his secrets are published in a book by Eric Schmidt, I think former CEO of Google. I'm pretty sure he wrote that. Yeah. Anyway, really great life and work wisdom in that if you're a leader, you aspire to be a leader, you should definitely check it out in the trillion dollar coach. And this was in the time and I don't know, if I have all the details, right. Google went public, the executive team is rolling in cash. They just had this really heavy lift to, to go through the IPO and all those things. So you have a young, smart, newly rich kind of leadership team on the Google in the Google campus. And will Bill Campbell made everyone do is when you go to these really interesting spots in your jet setting all around almost every weekend, when you come back for the executive team meeting for the staff meeting, build a trip, report, come back, take some pictures, tell us come back, tell a story and share that with your peer group. And what that does is it's a way to build empathy and relationship and take yourself not so seriously as a leadership team, and so if you're a leader, for sure, and you go on a trip, especially because we go on so few every year, take some pictures, put some slides together, come back and talk about it with the team, it can just be five minutes. I remember Igor did one, when he went to Portugal, it was really cool. I never really seen any of the architecture, like all the stairs, like he was just talking about. Many times everyday, he was either ascending or descending these massive, like flights of stairs, those kind of things. And that stuck in my head like until this day, right. And so building that trip report, I think would help you build relationships with your closest peer group, which is arguably the most important relationships you have at a firm

Charles Knight:

by ally like that, and that that can apply to outside of work, too. One thing that I do with the kids, at the end of the summer is I go back through kind of like what you did is just relive some of those moments. Because I take pictures when we're on trips. And one of the things that we're going to do this weekend, upcoming weekend, since it's the last weekend before school starts for them, is to rehash our summer, man and just try to relive some of those highs and lows, and then just reflect on our time together as a way to build those relationships and reinforce some of those memories and learnings and stuff like that. I think that's there's goodness all around when you do that sort of stuff, whether it's your team or your friends and family.

Robert Greiner:

Yeah, definitely. So I know we're running up on time. So just as we wrap up, there's definitely studies that have been done that show. Well being in health and well being increases pretty dramatically on vacation. That's obvious. Day eight is where they peak, it's good to know, depending on how you're wired and what your work is like and what your family life is like there's a right way to do vacation for you and a wrong way. And trying to be intentional about what the right way is for you and thinking about what worked and what didn't. Reflecting after you get back, being in the moment thinking about what's going on not will help you maximize one of the most finite resources you have in your life, which is the vacation day. And so manage them well. Think about the book ends that before and after exit and re entry. What can you do to help there hurrying is bad I think just generally speaking, think about the not only the peak experiences, but the little bricks and steps that you take between experiences that that matter that all add up as well. And then if you if you're in a leadership position, share your trip with your team. When you get back. I think those are some things to think about that hopefully will help bring if you're listening and you've made it this far some boost in health and well being in your life.

Charles Knight:

Yeah, I love the recap. Last thing I'd say for people is don't be afraid to take time off. And don't apologize for taking time off. Those are the two common things that I hear when I talk to people who are stressed and burnt out. It's Oh yeah, I know. I should take more time off, but I don't because they're afraid. And then when they do they apologize for it, no. We have nothing to apologize for is your life. And don't let others dictate how you want to live it.

Robert Greiner:

Yep, absolutely. Hey, it was great. catching up with you. At some point. We'll talk to Igor. I texted him today.

Charles Knight:

Oh, good.

Robert Greiner:

He's about to start the road trip.

Charles Knight:


Robert Greiner:

So that'll be fun. We'll hold down the fort while he's out.

Charles Knight:

We'll do our best. miserably but yeah,

Robert Greiner:

yeah, he's really the glue. I think the the social and psychological anchor for us.

Charles Knight:

Igor is just so much he's such a force of nature, we miss you Igor.

Robert Greiner:

one of the most witty people you'll meet to

Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah.

All right. Yes, man. I will talk to you next week.

Charles Knight:

All right. Take care.

Robert Greiner:

Have a good one.

Charles Knight:

You too.

Robert Greiner:


Charles Knight:


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About the Podcast

Wanna Grab Coffee?
Join us for weekly discussions about careers, leadership, and balancing work and life.
A podcast about all of the topics we discuss during our mid-day coffee breaks. We bring you stories, thoughts, and ideas around life as a professional, leadership concepts, and work/life balance. We view career and leadership development as a practice that spans decades and we are excited to go on this journey with you.